February 2023 ESMC Newsletter
ESMC Releases Report on Markets for Ecosystem Services on Public Grazing Lands
ESMC is pleased to release a report on markets for ecosystem services on public grazing lands. The report finds that, if designed carefully and inclusively, ecosystem service markets can be created to incentivize adoption of the livestock and land management practices that enhance carbon storage and hydrological ecosystem services. This report summarizes the insights and recommendations for designing markets for ecosystem services specifically geared toward livestock producers who utilize both private and public lands for grazing. Read and download the report here.
Join Our Team
ESMC/ESMRC is hiring for four positions – a Chief Scientist, a Research Program Project Manager, a Project Manager and a Policy and Engagement Manager. Read more on the positions and apply. All positions are excellent opportunities to join our dynamic and growing team.
The Chief Scientist will lead the Ecosystem Services Market Research Consortium (ESMRC) Research and Development (R&D) department. ESMRC is ESMC’s innovation program that serves to improve and expand our market program operations. The Chief Scientist guides the strategic development and growth of ESMRC’s science, innovation and R&D programs, project and partnerships to support scaled beneficial outcomes from agricultural operations, including improved ecosystems service outcomes for corporate scope 3 claims that are quantified and verified.
The Research Program Project Manager will assist ESMRC’s Chief Scientist in planning and execution of RDD&D projects that meet ESMRC goals and objectives as established by grant awards, ESMC market development priorities, and technical working group input and guidance. The position will draft ESMRC Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and Statements of Work (SOW) for RDD&D projects, coordinate solicitation of responses, and lead review of submitted proposals. They will also facilitate and lead ESMRC technical Working Group activities.
The Project Manager will join our team in a virtual office environment and will serve on a team of Project Managers to plan, coordinate, implement and lead pilot projects and market projects. The Project Managers will work collaboratively as part of the larger ESMC/ESMRC team and with ESMC/ESMRC members and stakeholders. This is an ideal position for candidates experienced in working with producers to implement regenerative agricultural practice changes and who are interested in joining a quickly growing and innovative organization. This is a remote position.
The ESMC/ESMRC Policy and Member Engagement Manager will serve as ESMC/ESMRC’s lead on public policy issues that are relevant to ESMC/ESMRC’s mission and vision and the success of our agricultural ecosystem services market program. The Policy and Member Engagement Manager will identify public policy opportunities, obstacles, and barriers to a fully optimized ecosystem services market program and work to engage our members and stakeholders to achieve beneficial outcomes. The position is a contract position based in Washington DC.
Look for ESMC At…
3rd Symposium of the Northeast Healthy Soil Network [NEHSN]
March 16 – 17, In-Person on the Campus of the University of New Hampshire, Durham and Virtual
The theme of this meeting is Transitioning to More Regenerative Practices in the Northeast: Towards Inclusive and Fair Compensation for Farmers and Other Soil Health Stewards. ESMC’s Debbie Reed is speaking on a panel entitled Lessons learned at the international level: the “4 per 1000” Initiative. Read more about the event.
March 22 – 24; New York City
Ceres Global is a flagship event where many of the most influential capital market leaders come together to set the course of action for a more just and sustainable economy by 2030. ESMC’s Jack Jeworski will attend. Read more about the event.
Forum for the Future: Growing our Future Workshop: Collaborative Action Towards a Just and Regenerative Agriculture System
March 27, Chicago IL
ESMC’s Debbie Reed will attend to participate in the workshop and continue the ongoing work of the Growing our Future initiative.
Regenerative Agriculture & Food Systems Summit USA 2023
March 28 – 29, Chicago, IL
Join food and beverage brands, ingredients suppliers, food producers, supply chain monitoring platforms, AgTech companies, and consultants to tackle the challenges and identify the opportunities in harnessing the full potential of regenerative agriculture practices in the food industry. ESMC’s Debbie Reed will attend. Read more about this event.
ESMC in the News
Nebraska Soil Carbon Project Informational Events Planned for March 14
York News Times (February 24)
Are you curious about funding for best management practices through the Nebraska Soil Carbon Project? Cooperating producers in the Upper Big Blue or Central Platte NRD can earn up to $45 per acre for practices such as cover crops, no-till, and diverse cropping rotations. Funding is still available, and more acres will be added in the months ahead. This is one of ESMC’s Eco-Harvest projects. Read the full article.
Missouri Farmers Add Carbon to Their List of Crops
Flatland (February 22)
This article highlights participants in an ESMC Eco-Harvest project in Missouri, specifically on Jon Hemme, who farms about 1,000 acres of row crops in addition to his family’s dairy and cheese operation, Hemme Brothers Creamery in Sweet Springs. Read the full article.
Regenerative Product Design with Ethan Soloviev
New Food Order podcast (February 14)
Regenerative has become a buzzword, with companies big and small making commitments to launch regenerative products. But what does regenerative product design actually look like? And how do we measure the impacts of product design and ingredient choices on people and our planet? This podcast discusses these topics with Ethan Soloviev, farmer and chief innovation officer at HowGood, a food sustainability rating company. He explains how General Mills (an ESMC Founding Circle member) is playing a leading role in developing regenerative agriculture opportunities throughout their supply shed. In discussing ecosystem services market development, the launch of ESMC’s Eco-Harvest program is highlighted. Listen to the podcast.
ESMC Member and Funder News
USDA Seeking Applications to Expand Conservation Assistance to Underserved Producers
USDA NRCS (February 27)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), an ESMC funder, is seeking applications for projects that will improve outreach to underserved producers and underserved communities about conservation programs and services and opportunities for students to pursue careers in agriculture, natural resources and related sciences. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering up to $70 million in cooperative agreements with entities for two-year projects that encourage participation in NRCS programs, especially in underserved communities and among urban and small-scale producers. Read the full announcement.
How Climate Change Is Making Tampons (and Lots of Other Stuff) More Expensive
New York Times (February 18)
Cotton farmers in Texas suffered record losses amid heat and drought last year, new data shows. It’s an example of how global warming is a “secret driver of inflation.” This article links to the Cotton 2040 project led by ESMC Legacy Partner member, Forum for the Future. Read the full article.
How the Farming Industry Is Helping Canada Meet its Climate Commitments
The Globe and Mail (February 16)
The world’s largest provider of crop inputs like potash and nitrogen, Saskatoon-based Nutrien Inc. (an ESMC Founding Circle member), is taking action on food insecurity in Canada, and around the globe, by investing heavily in sustainable farming. The company’s Feeding the Future plan describes its efforts to help growers adopt more sustainable and productive agricultural products and practices. That plan depends on conservation, technology solutions and adopting ways of tracking soil health, water quality and biodiversity. Read the full article.
Other News of Note
Once Scorned, Birds Are Returning to Farms
Civil Eats (February 27)
The Wild Farm Alliance is working with farmers across California and beyond to help farmers take advantage of birds as natural pest control. Read the full article.
Perennial Crops Boost Biodiversity Both On and Off Farms. Researchers Explain How.
Civil Eats (February 16)
Above and belowground, perennial crops including wheat, grasses, trees, and more provide habitat and nutrition to creatures that help make ecosystems whole. Read the full article.
Climate Change Has Its Tipping Points — Thankfully, So Does Progress
The Hill (February 16)
Climate change happens slowly and then suddenly. The dangerous temperature and ecosystem changes are all around, are gradual and then sudden; once a disjunctive break or tipping point occurs, climate and systems shift from one state to another much more alarming one. Read the full article.
FAO Publishes Its First Global Assessment of Soil Carbon in Grasslands
FAO (February 14)
Improving management practices in grasslands can boost the capacity of soils as carbon sinks, and help countries reach their climate goals, according to a new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). After oceans, soils are the second largest carbon pool on Earth, and they play an important role in global climate change due to the large amount of carbon currently stored in soil organic matter. Read the full article.
This Is Why We Can’t Dismiss Water Scarcity in the US
World Economic Forum (February 10)
The United Nations Water Conference will be held in New York in March this year and is the first UN meeting solely about water since 1977. Too many Americans face water insecurity due to groundwater exhaustion, infrastructure challenges, climate change conditions and contamination, resulting in devastating effects on public health and community prosperity. Read the full article.
The Climate Dictionary: An Everyday Guide to Climate Change
UNDP (February 2)
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) prepared a resource of climate change terms and concepts through the Climate Dictionary. Read the full article and access the dictionary.
For Melon Farmers, Insects’ Benefits May Outweigh Their Costs
Civil Eats (January 31)
A new study focused on watermelons has wider implications for how farmers can strike a balance between predation and pollination in the produce industry. Read the full article.